I recently had the honor of attending a family wedding in France. The groom was French and brought up in the Catholic tradition. The bride was born in California and raised in the Jewish tradition.
The family and friends from both sides assembled in a small town in the south of France and the celebration began. There was lots of food, wine, and joyous gatherings. The groom’s family exhibited the most amazing hospitality. Here is the interesting thing: It seemed perfectly natural that the French and the Americans were in the same place honoring the love of this beautiful young couple. Some spoke only English. Some spoke only French. Others had varying degrees of language learnings. It didn’t seem to matter. Somehow, we all found a way to connect and get to know each other.
Dear Arielle & Brian,
Earlier this year I met someone who I thought was my soulmate and I gave and gave and gave. I thought he also gave, but certainly not as much as I did, even though I was not keeping score. Shortly after we started dating he lost his job and turned to me for solace and advice, and then he left me abruptly, saying he did not have the emotional stamina and strength to reciprocate the giving I was demonstrating. I was left devastated and emotionally exhausted.
Something made me say yes.
It wasn’t common sense, which pointed out that I already had three dogs, two cats and a rabbit. I surely didn’t need another pet.
It wasn’t love. Despite his name, there was little about Romeo that lassoed my heart. He was enormous. And toothless. His claws seemed permanently poised to strike. His fur was dull and he had a bad case of dandruff and he reeked of a pack-a-day habit.
It was nearly noon on a Wednesday a few months back when a welcomed Colorado blizzard closed schools and offices. My 4-year-old son and I were still in our cozies, enjoying lunch while we worked on his favorite puzzle. A PBS cartoon played in the background, but neither of us paid much attention to the TV until we heard the familiar theme song for Curious George.
The beauty of giving a gift is that it can positively impact the giver, the receiver and those who are witnessing the action. Instead of trying to get names crossed off your shopping list, take some time to reconnect to the spiritual power of gift giving.
Rudeness is on the increase, according to recent research revealed by the University of Florida management professor, Amir Erez. “People are experiencing rudeness more and more. It’s everywhere,” he said.
In our society we’re very concerned about how little we care, how selfish and greedy we are. We realize that we need to care more, we need to have more compassion, we need to have more empathy, we need all that.